Essay about Psychology and Perspective Focuses

Submitted By madisenbellet
Words: 825
Pages: 4

An Introduction to the stuff you will be learning this year.

Evolving Definitions
…1920s: the science of mental life
1920s-1960s: the science of observable behavior Today: the scientific study of behavior (what we do) and mental processes (inner thoughts and feelings).

Waves of Psychology

• The science of psychology has gone through about 5 different waves since it started.
• Waves are different ways of thinking over time.

Wave One: Introspection
•Started with William Wundt’‛s first psychological laboratory and his concept of introspection
•Then William James wrote The
Principles of Psychology and discussed functionalism.
•In reality these ideas do not have much impact on how psychologists think today.

Wave Two: Gestalt Psychology
• Led by Max Wertheimer, these guys focused not on how we feel, but on how we experience the world.
• The whole of an experience can be more than the sum of its parts.
This may seem like one picture, but it can be perceived as 3 different faces. Can you find them?

Wave Three: Psychoanalysis

• This wave of thinking started with Sigmund
Freud (in the early 1900’‛s).
• In a nutshell, during this time period people believed that most of your feelings come from a hidden place in your mind called the unconscious. • We protect ourselves from our real feeling by using defense mechanisms.

Wave Four: Behaviorism
• During this time period (early to mid 1900s), people started to ignore how you feel inside.
• All that mattered was how you acted.
• If you they could change your behavior, who cares how you feel.
• Very popular during the conservative 1950’‛s when social appearance mattered more than self expression. Wave Five: Eclectic
• We are now in wave five….which is about variety.

• Psychologists pick and choose what theories to use depending on the situation and the client.

Wave Five is made up of about 8 different perspectives.
In other words, psychologists today, pick and choose from about 7 schools of thought to help you with your problems.

Thus we have:

Biological Perspective
• Seeks to understand the interactions between anatomy, physiology & behavior
• In other words, what behviors come from your brain, body chemistry, neurotransmitters, etc…
Let us imagine for a second that your dog died
(sad but it will happen). You become depressed. You stop eating and sleeping.
What would a psychologist from this school say is going on and how might they help you?

Behavioral Genetics
• Behavior is based on…GENETICS!
• Takes in to account how biological predispositions as well as external influences help manifest a trait
EXAMPLE: “to what extent are risk-taking behaviors in adolescents attributable to genetics”
EXAMPLE: my mom has OCD…will I have it too?

Behavioral Perspective
Pretend that you fail psychology class.
You become depressed. In turn, you begin to binge and gain weight.

What do you think a behaviorist may do?
They would probably ignore the fact that you are depressed and just focus on your overeating.
Maybe make you run a mile every time you eat over 2000 calories.

• Focuses on observable behaviors while putting feelings to the side.
• We behave in ways because we have been conditioned to do so.
• To change behaviors, we have to recondition the client.…